Asia

Chinese President not likely to push for Taiwan reunification any time soon

Will she or won’t she – Nancy Pelosi, the third in line to the US Presidency, is contemplating visiting Taiwan amid increasing tensions with China.

You may be aware that China wants to reunify with Taiwan -- an island that sits about 150 km off China’s coast and has democratically elected leaders. Beijing says Taiwan is part of China, but over the decades, Japan has controlled Taiwan too.

Geoffrey Miller is a geopolitical expert from the Democracy Project and doesn't think Chinese President Xi Jinping would be in any rush to push for reunification with Taiwan.

"If anything, as we've just heard, the provocation is kind of coming from the American side with Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan rather than the Chinese side," Miller said.

The US has what's called the Taiwan Relations Act which requires the US to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself in the event that it is attacked by China although it does not specify whether the US would send troops and come to their aid directly.

"That's by design, that policy is called strategic ambiguity."

In the broader context, an invasion of Taiwan by China would be the only reason there would be direct war between the US and China Miller explained.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will address the China Business Summit just after 7 am on Monday morning and Miller expects to see Ardern tailor her speech to her largely 'pro-China' audience.

"Last month she talked to think tanks in London and Sydney and was a bit softer to China, she talked about diplomacy, dialogue and dialogue and all these things China would like.

"She decried the idea of there being a global battle between democracy and autocracy so she recalibrated to some degree and I'm expecting to see that recalibration continue."

Listen to the full interview between Geoffrey Miller and Rachel Smalley above.

You can also download the full interview on the First Light podcast, and listen on the go. Check it out on the rova app or wherever you get your podcasts.